Flooding in Alberta, Canada

June 21st, 2013 |
GOES-15 6.5 µm water vapor channel images with plots of surface weather (click image to play animation)

GOES-15 6.5 µm water vapor channel images with plots of surface weather (click image to play animation)

Very heavy rainfall in much of southwestern Alberta (upwards of 200 mm or 7.9 inches) caused severe flooding in the Calgary (YYC) area beginning on 19 June and 20 June 2013. A sequence of McIDAS images of hourly GOES-15 6.5 µm water vapor channel data (above; click image to play animation) showed three distinct pulses of moisture that moved across the YYC region during the 18 June – 21 June period. The circulation around an area of low pressure that was moving slowly across the northwestern US (below) allowed deep tropospheric moisture to be transported eastward against the high terrain of the Rocky Mountains, which was a factor in producing such heavy precipitation amounts.

Water vapor image composites + ECMWF model 500 hPa geopotential heights

Water vapor image composites + ECMWF model 500 hPa geopotential heights

 

Blended Total Precipitable Water product

Blended Total Precipitable Water product

The Blended Total Precipitable Water product (above) showed TPW values as high as 31 mm or 1.2 inches over much of the region on the morning of 20 June — these TPW values were 190-200% above normal for this area and this time of the year (below).

Blended Total Precipitable Water Percent of Normal product

Blended Total Precipitable Water Percent of Normal product

Summer Solstice in Alaska

June 21st, 2013 |
GOES-15 0.63 µm visible channel images (click image to play animation)

GOES-15 0.63 µm visible channel images (click image to play animation)

GOES-15 (GOES-West) 0.63 µm visible channel images (above; click image to play animation) showed the cloud features over much of Alaska on 21 June 2013 (the day of the summer solstice). Record heat had been occurring across much of Alaska during the previous week, and Barrow (BRW) had a daily record high temperature of 62 F on 20 June. Note that there were numerous thunderstorms that developed over the Brooks Range and even over the North Slope regions of Alaska — on 20 June, over 4000 cloud-to-ground lightning strikes were detected. The haziness seen early in the animation was due to widespread smoke from wildfires that had been burning in southwestern Alaska a few days earlier.